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Wage and Hour Division

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993

Public Law 103-3 Enacted February 5, 1993

An Act

To grant family and temporary medical leave under certain circumstances.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) SHORT TITLE.--This Act may be cited as the "Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993".

(b) TABLE OF CONTENTS.--The table of contents is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.

Sec. 2. Findings and purposes.

TITLE I--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR LEAVE

TITLE II--LEAVE FOR CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES

TITLE III--COMMISSION ON LEAVE

TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

TITLE V--COVERAGE OF CONGRESSIONAL EMPLOYEES

TITLE VI--SENSE OF CONGRESS


SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.

FINDINGS.--Congress finds that--

  1. the number of single-parent households and two-parent households in which the single parent or both parents work is increasing significantly;
  2. it is important for the development of children and the family unit that fathers and mothers be able to participate in early childrearing and the care of family members who have serious health conditions;
  3. the lack of employment policies to accommodate working parents can force individuals to choose between job security and parenting;
  4. there is inadequate job security for employees who have serious health conditions that prevent them from working for temporary periods;
  5. due to the nature of the roles of men and women in our society, the primary responsibility for family caretaking often falls on women, and such responsibility affects the working lives of women more than it affects the working lives of men; and
  6. employment standards that apply to one gender only have serious potential for encouraging employers to discriminate against employees and applicants for employment who are of that gender.

PURPOSES.--It is the purpose of this Act--

  • to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families, to promote the stability and economic security of families, and to promote national interests in preserving family integrity;
  • to entitle employees to take reasonable leave for medical reasons, for the birth or adoption of a child, and for the care of a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • to accomplish the purposes described in paragraphs (1) and (2) in a manner that accommodates the legitimate interests of employers;
  • to accomplish the purposes described in paragraphs (1) and (2) in a manner that, consistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, minimizes the potential for employment discrimination on the basis of sex by ensuring generally that leave is available for eligible medical reasons (including maternity-related disability) and for compelling family reasons, on a gender-neutral basis; and
  • to promote the goal of equal employment opportunity for women and men, pursuant to such clause.

TITLE I--GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR LEAVE


TITLE II--LEAVE FOR CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES

SEC. 201. LEAVE REQUIREMENT.

(a) CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYEES.--

IN GENERAL.--Chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subchapter:

SUBCHAPTER V--FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

"6381. Definitions

For the purpose of this subchapter--

  1. "the term 'employee' means any individual who--
    • " is an 'employee', as defined by section 6301(2), including any individual employed in a position referred to in clause (v) or (ix) of section 6301(2), but excluding any individual employed by the government of the District of Columbia and any individual employed on a temporary or intermittent basis; and
    • " has completed at least 12 months of service as an employee (within the meaning of subparagraph (A));
  2. " the term 'health care provider' means--
    • " a doctor of medicine or osteopathy who is authorized to practice medicine or surgery (as appropriate) by the State in which the doctor practices; and
    • " any other person determined by the Director of the Office of Personnel Management to be capable of providing health care services;
  3. " the term 'parent' means the biological parent of an employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a son or daughter;
  4. " the term 'reduced leave schedule' means a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per workweek, or hours per workday, of an employee;
  5. " the term 'serious health condition' means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves--
    • " inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
    • " continuing treatment by a health care provider; and
  6. " the term 'son or daughter' means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is--
    • " under 18 years of age; or
    • " 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.

"6382. Leave requirement

(a)(1) Subject to section 6383, an employee shall be entitled to a total of 12 administrative workweeks of leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following:

  • " Because of the birth of a son or daughter of the employee and in order to care for such son or daughter.
  • " Because of the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care.
  • " In order to care for the spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent, of the employee, if such spouse, son, daughter, or parent has a serious health condition.
  • " Because of a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the functions of the employee's position.

"(2) The entitlement to leave under subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) based on the birth or placement of a son or daughter shall expire at the end of the 12-month period beginning on the date of such birth or placement.

"(b)(1) Leave under subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (a)(1) shall not be taken by an employee intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule unless the employee and the employing agency of the employee agree otherwise. Subject to paragraph (2), subsection (e)(2), and section 6383(b)(5), leave under subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (a)(1) may be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. In the case of an employee who takes leave intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule pursuant to this paragraph, any hours of leave so taken by such employee shall be subtracted from the total amount of leave remaining available to such employee under subsection (a), for purposes of the 12-month period involved, on an hour-for-hour basis.

"(2) If an employee requests intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced leave schedule, under subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (a)(1); that is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employing agency may require such employee to transfer temporarily to an available alternative position offered by the employing agency for which the employee is qualified and that--

  • "has equivalent pay and benefits; and
  • " better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the regular employment position of the employee.
  • " Except as provided in subsection (d), leave granted under subsection (a) shall be leave without pay.
  • " An employee may elect to substitute for leave under subparagraph (A), (B), (C), or (D) of subsection (a)(1) any of the employee's accrued or accumulated annual or sick leave under subchapter I for any part of the 12-week period of leave under such subsection, except that nothing in this subchapter shall require an employing agency to provide paid sick leave in any situation in which such employing agency would not normally provide any such paid leave.
  • "(1) In any case in which the necessity for leave under subparagraph (A) or (B) of subsection (a)(1) is foreseeable based on an expected birth or placement, the employee shall provide the employing agency with not less than 30 days' notice, before the date the leave is to begin, of the employee's intention to take leave under such subparagraph, except that if the date of the birth or placement requires leave to begin in less than 30 days, the employee shall provide such notice as is practicable.

"(2) In any case in which the necessity for leave under subparagraph (C) or (D) of subsection (a)(1) is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, the employee--

  • " shall make a reasonable effort to schedule the treatment so as not to disrupt unduly the operations of the employing agency, subject to the approval of the health care provider of the employee or the health care provider of the son, daughter, spouse, or parent of the employee, as appropriate; and
  • " shall provide the employing agency with not less than 30 days' notice, before the date the leave is to begin, of the employee's intention to take leave under such subparagraph, except that if the date of the treatment requires leave to begin in less than 30 days, the employee shall provide such notice as is practicable.

"6383. Certification

"(a) An employing agency may require that a request for leave under subparagraph (C) or (D) of section 6382(a)(1) be supported by certification issued by the health care provider of the employee or of the son, daughter, spouse, or parent of the employee, as appropriate. The employee shall provide, in a timely manner, a copy of such certification to the employing agency.

"(b) A certification provided under subsection (a) shall be sufficient if it states--

  1. " the date on which the serious health condition commenced;
  2. " the probable duration of the condition;
  3. " the appropriate medical facts within the knowledge of the health care provider regarding the condition;
  4. "(A) for purposes of leave under section 6382(a)(1)(C), a statement that the employee is needed to care for the son, daughter, spouse, or parent, and an estimate of the amount of time that such employee is needed to care for such son, daughter, spouse, or parent; and "(B) for purposes of leave under section 6382(a)(1)(D), a statement that the employee is unable to perform the functions of the position of the employee; and
  5. " in the case of certification for intermittent leave, or leave on a reduced leave schedule, for planned medical treatment, the dates on which such treatment is expected to be given and the duration of such treatment.

"(c)(1) In any case in which the employing agency has reason to doubt the validity of the certification provided under subsection (a) for leave under subparagraph (C) or (D) of section 6382(a)(1), the employing agency may require, at the expense of the agency, that the employee obtain the opinion of a second health care provider designated or approved by the employing agency concerning any information certified under subsection (b) for such leave.

"(2) Any health care provider designated or approved under paragraph (1) shall not be employed on a regular basis by the employing agency.

"(d)(1) In any case in which the second opinion described in subsection (c) differs from the original certification provided under subsection (a), the employing agency may require, at the expense of the agency, that the employee obtain the opinion of a third health care provider designated or approved jointly by the employing agency and the employee concerning the information certified under subsection (b).

"(2) The opinion of the third health care provider concerning the information certified under subsection (b) shall be considered to be final and shall be binding on the employing agency and the employee.

"(e) The employing agency may require, at the expense of the agency, that the employee obtain subsequent recertifications on a reasonable basis.

"6384. Employment and benefits protection

" Any employee who takes leave under section 6382 for the intended purpose of the leave shall be entitled, upon return from such leave--

  1. " to be restored by the employing agency to the position held by the employee when the leave commenced; or
  2. " to be restored to an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay, status, and other terms and conditions of employment.

" The taking of leave under section 6382 shall not result in the loss of any employment benefit accrued prior to the date on which the leave commenced.

" Except as otherwise provided by or under law, nothing in this section shall be construed to entitle any restored employee to--

  1. " the accrual of any employment benefits during any period of leave; or
  2. " any right, benefit, or position of employment other than any right, benefit, or position to which the employee would have been entitled had the employee not taken the leave.

" As a condition to restoration under subsection (a) for an employee who takes leave under section 6382(a)(1)(D), the employing agency may have a uniformly applied practice or policy that requires each such employee to receive certification from the health care provider of the employee that the employee is able to resume work.

" Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit an employing agency from requiring an employee on leave under section 6382 to report periodically to the employing agency on the status and intention of the employee to return to work.

"6385. Prohibition of coercion

"(a) An employee shall not directly or indirectly intimidate, threaten, or coerce, or attempt to intimidate, threaten, or coerce, any other employee for the purpose of interfering with the exercise of any rights which such other employee may have under this subchapter.

"(b) For the purpose of this section--

  1. " the term "intimidate, threaten, or coerce' includes promising to confer or conferring any benefit (such as appointment, promotion, or compensation), or taking or threatening to take any reprisal (such as deprivation of appointment, promotion, or compensation); and
  2. " the term 'employee' means any 'employee', as defined by section 2105.

"6386. Health insurance

"An employee enrolled in a health benefits plan under chapter 89 who is placed in a leave status under section 6382 may elect to continue the health benefits enrollment of the employee while in such leave status and arrange to pay currently into the Employees Health Benefits Fund (described in section 8909), the appropriate employee contributions.

"6387. Regulations

"The Office of Personnel Management shall prescribe regulations necessary for the administration of this subchapter. The regulations prescribed under this subchapter shall, to the extent appropriate, be consistent with the regulations prescribed by the Secretary of Labor to carry out title I of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.".

TABLE OF CONTENTS.--The table of contents for chapter 63 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

  • "SUBCHAPTER V--FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
  • "6381. Definitions.
  • "6382. Leave requirement.
  • "6383. Certification.
  • "6384. Employment and benefits protection.
  • "6385. Prohibition of coercion.
  • "6386. Health insurance.
  • "6387. Regulations.".

EMPLOYEES PAID FROM NONAPPROPRIATED FUNDS.--Section 2105(c)(1) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

  1. by striking "or" at the end of subparagraph (C); and
  2. by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

"(E) subchapter V of chapter 63, which shall be applied so as to construe references to benefit programs to refer to applicable programs for employees paid from nonappropriated funds; or".


TITLE III--COMMISSION ON LEAVE

SEC. 301. ESTABLISHMENT.

There is established a commission to be known as the Commission on Leave (referred to in this title as the "Commission").

SEC. 302. DUTIES.

The Commission shall--

  1. conduct a comprehensive study of--
    • existing and proposed mandatory and voluntary policies relating to family and temporary medical leave, including policies provided by employers not covered under this Act;
    • the potential costs, benefits, and impact on productivity, job creation and business growth of such policies on employers and employees;
    • possible differences in costs, benefits, and impact on productivity, job creation and business growth of such policies on employers based on business type and size;
    • the impact of family and medical leave policies on the availability of employee benefits provided by employers, including employers not covered under this Act;
    • alternate and equivalent State enforcement of title I with respect to employees described in section 108(a);
    • methods used by employers to reduce administrative costs of implementing family and medical leave policies;
    • the ability of the employers to recover, under section 104(c)(2), the premiums described in such section; and
    • the impact on employers and employees of policies that provide temporary wage replacement during periods of family and medical leave.
  2. not later than 2 years after the date on which the Commission first meets, prepare and submit, to the appropriate Committees of Congress, a report concerning the subjects listed in paragraph (1).

SEC. 303. MEMBERSHIP.

COMPOSITION.--

APPOINTMENTS.--The Commission shall be composed of 12 voting members and 4 ex officio members to be appointed not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act as follows:

SENATORS.--One Senator shall be appointed by the Majority Leader of the Senate, and one Senator shall be appointed by the Minority

Leader of the Senate.

MEMBERS OF HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.--One Member of the House of Representatives shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and one Member of the House of Representatives shall be appointed by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

ADDITIONAL MEMBERS.--

  • APPOINTMENT.--Two members each shall be appointed by
    • the Speaker of the House of Representatives;
    • the Majority Leader of the Senate;
    • the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives; and
    • the Minority Leader of the Senate.
  • EXPERTISE.--Such members shall be appointed by virtue of demonstrated expertise in relevant family, temporary disability, and labor management issues. Such members shall include representatives of employers, including employers from large businesses and from small businesses.

EX OFFICIO MEMBERS.--The Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Administrator of the Small Business Administration shall serve on the Commission as nonvoting ex officio members.

VACANCIES.--Any vacancy on the Commission shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made. The vacancy shall not affect the power of the remaining members to execute the duties of the Commission.

CHAIRPERSON AND VICE CHAIRPERSON.--The Commission shall elect a chairperson and a vice chairperson from among the members of the Commission.

QUORUM.--Eight members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for all purposes, except that a lesser number may constitute a quorum for the purpose of holding hearings.


SEC. 304. COMPENSATION.

  • PAY.--Members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.
  • TRAVEL EXPENSES.--Members of the Commission shall be allowed reasonable travel expenses, including a per diem allowance, in accordance with section 5703 of title 5, United States Code, when performing duties of the Commission.

SEC. 305. POWERS.

  • MEETINGS.--The Commission shall first meet not later than 30 days after the date on which all members are appointed, and the Commission shall meet thereafter on the call of the chairperson or a majority of the members.
  • HEARINGS AND SESSIONS.--The Commission may hold such hearings, sit and act at such times and places, take such testimony, and receive such evidence as the Commission considers appropriate. The Commission may administer oaths or affirmations to witnesses appearing before it.
  • ACCESS TO INFORMATION.--The Commission may secure directly from any Federal agency information necessary to enable it to carry out this title, if the information may be disclosed under section 552 of title 5, United States Code. Subject to the previous sentence, on the request of the chairperson or vice chairperson of the Commission, the head of such agency shall furnish such information to the Commission.
  • USE OF FACILITIES AND SERVICES.--Upon the request of the Commission, the head of any Federal agency may make available to the Commission any of the facilities and services of such agency.
  • PERSONNEL FROM OTHER AGENCIES.--On the request of the Commission, the head of any Federal agency may detail any of the personnel of such agency to serve as an Executive Director of the Commission or assist the Commission in carrying out the duties of the Commission. Any detail shall not interrupt or otherwise affect the civil service status or privileges of the Federal employee.
  • VOLUNTARY SERVICE.--Notwithstanding section 1342 of title 31, United States Code, the chairperson of the Commission may accept for the Commission voluntary services provided by a member of the Commission.

SEC. 306. TERMINATION.

  • The Commission shall terminate 30 days after the date of the submission of the report of the Commission to Congress.

TITLE IV--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

SEC. 401. EFFECT ON OTHER LAWS.

  • FEDERAL AND STATE ANTIDISCRIMINATION LAWS.--Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to modify or affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
  • STATE AND LOCAL LAWS.--Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to supersede any provision of any State or local law that provides greater family or medical leave rights than the rights established under this Act or any amendment made by this Act.

SEC. 402. EFFECT ON EXISTING EMPLOYMENT BENEFITS.

  • MORE PROTECTIVE.--Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to diminish the obligation of an employer to comply with any collective bargaining agreement or any employment benefit program or plan that provides greater family or medical leave rights to employees than the rights established under this Act or any amendment made by this Act.
  • LESS PROTECTIVE.--The rights established for employees under this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall not be diminished by any collective bargaining agreement or any employment benefit program or plan.

SEC. 403. ENCOURAGEMENT OF MORE GENEROUS LEAVE POLICIES.

Nothing in this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall be construed to discourage employers from adopting or retaining leave policies more generous than any policies that comply with the requirements under this Act or any amendment made by this Act.


SEC. 404. REGULATIONS.

The Secretary of Labor shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to carry out title I and this title not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.


SEC. 405. EFFECTIVE DATES.

TITLE III.--Title III shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act.

OTHER TITLES.--

  1. IN GENERAL.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), titles I, II, and V and this title shall take effect 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
  2. COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS.--In the case of a collective bargaining agreement in effect on the effective date prescribed by paragraph (1), title I shall apply on the earlier of
    • the date of the termination of such agreement; or
    • the date that occurs 12 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

TITLE V--COVERAGE OF CONGRESSIONAL EMPLOYEES

SEC. 501. LEAVE FOR CERTAIN SENATE EMPLOYEES.

COVERAGE.--The rights and protections established under sections 101 through 105 shall apply with respect to a Senate employee and an employing office. For purposes of such application, the term "eligible employee" means a Senate employee and the term "employer" means an employing office.

CONSIDERATION OF ALLEGATIONS.

  1. APPLICABLE PROVISIONS.--The provisions of sections 304 through 313 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (2 U.S.C. 1204-1213) shall, except as provided in subsections (d) and (e)--
    • apply with respect to an allegation of a violation of a provision of sections 101 through 105, with respect to Senate employment of a Senate employee; and
    • apply to such an allegation in the same manner and to the same extent as such sections of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 apply with respect to an allegation of a violation under such Act.
  2. ENTITY.--Such an allegation shall be addressed by the Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices or such other entity as the Senate may designate.

RIGHTS OF EMPLOYEES.--The Office of Senate Fair Employment Practices shall ensure that Senate employees are informed of their rights under sections 101 through 105.

LIMITATIONS.--A request for counseling under section 305 of such Act by a Senate employee alleging a violation of a provision of sections 101 through 105 shall be made not later than 2 years after the date of the last event constituting the alleged violation for which the counseling is requested, or not later than 3 years after such date in the case of a willful violation of section 105.

APPLICABLE REMEDIES.--The remedies applicable to individuals who demonstrate a violation of a provision of sections 101 through 105 shall be such remedies as would be appropriate if awarded under paragraph (1) or (3) of section 107(a).

EXERCISE OF RULEMAKING POWER.--The provisions of subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e), except as such subsections apply with respect to section 309 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (2 U.S.C. 1209), are enacted by the Senate as an exercise of the rulemaking power of the Senate, with full recognition of the right of the Senate to change its rules, in the same manner, and to the same extent, as in the case of any other rule of the Senate. No Senate employee may commence a judicial proceeding with respect to an allegation described in subsection (b)(1), except as provided in this section.

SEVERABILITY.--Notwithstanding any other provision of law, if any provision of section 309 of the Government Employee Rights Act of 1991 (2 U.S.C. 1209), or of subsection (b)(1) insofar as it applies such section 309 to an allegation described in subsection (b)(1)(A), is invalidated, both such section 309, and subsection (b)(1) insofar as it applies such section 309 to such an allegation, shall have no force and effect, and shall be considered to be invalidated for purposes of section 322 of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1221).

DEFINITIONS.--As used in this section:

  1. EMPLOYING OFFICE.--The term "employing office" means the office with the final authority described in section 301(2) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1201(2)).
  2. SENATE EMPLOYEE.--The term "Senate employee" means an employee described in subparagraph (A) or (B) of section 301(c)(1) of such Act (2 U.S.C. 1201(c)(1)) who has been employed for at least 12 months on other than a temporary or intermittent basis by any employing office.

SEC. 502. LEAVE FOR CERTAIN HOUSE EMPLOYEES.

  • IN GENERAL.--The rights and protections under sections 102 through 105 (other than section 104(b)) shall apply to any employee in an employment position and any employing authority of the House of Representatives.
  • ADMINISTRATION.--In the administration of this section, the remedies and procedures under the Fair Employment Practices Resolution shall be applied.
  • DEFINITION.--As used in this section, the term "Fair Employment Practices Resolution" means rule LI of the Rules of the House of Representatives.

TITLE VI--SENSE OF CONGRESS

SEC. 601. SENSE OF CONGRESS.

  • It is the sense of the Congress that:
    • The Secretary of Defense shall conduct a comprehensive review of current departmental policy with respect to the service of homosexuals in the Armed Forces;
    • Such review shall include the basis for the current policy of mandatory separation; the rights of all service men and women, and the effects of any change in such policy on morale, discipline, and military effectiveness;
    • The Secretary shall report the results of such review and consultations and his recommendations to the President and to the Congress no later than July 15, 1993;
    • The Senate Committee on Armed Services shall conduct (i) comprehensive hearings on the current military policy with respect to the service of homosexuals in the military services; and (ii) shall conduct oversight hearings on the Secretary's recommendations as such are reported.

Approved February 5, 1993.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--H.R. 1(S. 5):

HOUSE REPORTS: No. 103-8, Pt. 1 (Comm. on Education and Labor) and Pt. 2 (Comm. on Post Office and Civil Service).

SENATE REPORTS: No. 103-3 accompanying S. 5 (Comm. on Labor and Human Resources).

CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 139 (1993):

  • Feb. 2, S. 5 considered in Senate.
  • Feb. 3, considered in Senate; H.R. 1 considered and passed House.
  • Feb. 4, H.R. 1 considered and passed Senate, amended, in lieu of S. 5. House concurred in Senate amendment.
  • WEEKLY COMPILATION OF PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS, Vol. 29 (1993):
  • Feb. 5, Presidential remarks and statement.